I anticipated a busy but relatively calm day at the White House.

I was the special assistant to the president for management and administration, and President George W. Bush was in Sarasota, Florida, promoting the No Child Left Behind legislation. The senior official in the White House was Vice President Dick Cheney. First lady Laura Bush was scheduled to travel to Capitol Hill to brief senators on early childhood education. On the South Lawn, tables were being set up for that evening’s congressional barbecue.

Anite McBride, former aide to President George W. Bush and chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush, is executive-in-residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. She wrote this for The Conversation, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts. Read the original article at theconversation.com.

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